Patterns of Caregiving of Cuban, Other Hispanic, Caribbean Black, and White Elders in South Florida
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Caregivers in Miami, Florida (185 Cubans, 108 other Hispanics, 229 non-Hispanic Whites, and 73 Caribbean Blacks) were described and compared along demographic and health variables, cultural attitudes, and caregiving behaviors. Participants were recruited at random through Home Health Services (61 %) and convenience sampling in the community (39 %), and interviewed at their home. Standardized instruments and measures constructed for this study were pretested. Multivariate analyses showed that the ethnic groups differed in age, education, income, and number of persons giving care, while caregiver health and patient functioning were similar. Controlling for demographics, differences in cultural variables were small. The sense of obligation, emotional attachment, openness about who should give care, spirituality, use of family help or community services were comparable in all groups. Commitment to caregiving was high, driven mainly by patient needs. Cubans had the greatest family stability, and worked the hardest, with the lowest sense of burden. Caribbean Black caregivers lived in bigger families, were youngest, and their patients had the lowest cognitive status. Burden was felt most by White caregivers who were older than the others. Professionals need to understand complex belief systems and behavior patterns to assist caregivers in mobilizing appropriate resources.
KeywordsFamily caregiving Ethnic differences Culture Family stability Family growth Cuban Hispanic Caribbean Black
This study was supported by Florida International University MBRS grant, SCORE Project NIHSO6GM08205, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
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